I’ve often been tough on Game of Thrones‘ Sansa Stark, preferring her younger sister’s can-do pluck to the way the redhead seems determined to wait for someone to save her. But after this week’s episode, in which Ned and Catelyn’s older daughter witnesses yet another atrocious act from the expensive seats, I have to give her credit for not curling into the fetal position and going catatonic.
How much more can this poor girl stand? (To be clear, that was a rhetorical question, George R.R. Martin and/or HBO – not a challenge.)
Meanwhile, Jorah knocks a little sense into Daenerys, Daario knocks something else with Daenerys, Brienne and Pod run into a familiar face, and Tyrion holds out for a hero – and gets one. Read on for what took place during “Mockingbird.”
HOUSE LANNISTER: THE-MOUNTAIN-BECKONS EDITION | Back in Tyrion’s cell after his outburst at the trial, Jaime can’t believe his little brother completely nullified the deal Tywin had offered. “You threw your life away,” Jaime says, noting that Tyrion had fallen in love with yet another prostitute. “And I was stupid enough to think she’d fallen in love with me,” the younger man laments, making me sad. (Side straw poll: Based solely on what we’ve seen in the TV adaptation, do you think Shae actually cared for Tyrion? I’m inclined to think she did, but felt wounded by his wedding to Sansa and everything that happened after. Am I being too romantic? Fill the comments with your thoughts.)
When Jaime gets a little too critical, Tyrion fires back that the twin is the “golden son” who can do no wrong, whether it’s killing a king, losing a hand or bedding his sister. “Careful,” Jaime warns, his eyes narrowing. “I’m the last friend you’ve got.”
And, adding even more bad luck to Tyrion’s growing heap, that final friend couldn’t fight a mouse for a piece of cheese; a one-handed Jaime is absolutely no match for Ser Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain, the Hound’s bigger, less-in-touch-with-his-feelings brother. With the Kingslayer out of the running, Tyrion offers the gig to Bronn, but the sellsword’s fancy clothes indicate he’s found a brand new benefactor: Cersei. In an exchange that makes Bronn seem less like a fun rogue and more like a murderous traitor, we learn that the queen regent arranged for him to marry – and he’s got zero qualms about possibly offing his betrothed’s older sister, who’s first in line for inheritance. Tyrion shoots back that Bronn’s future wife is stupid. “If I wanted wits,” his companion responds, I’d marry you.” (Heh.)
Tyrion tries to buy back Bronn’s loyalty, but the prospect of fighting The Mountain holds no attraction for the sellsword. Sorry, Bronn says, because he does like Tyrion. “I just like myself more.” And as Tyrion realizes that he is pretty much done for, they two men shake in farewell.
HOUSE LANNISTER: UNEXPECTED-ALLIES EDITION | Things look very bleak by the time Oberyn Martell visits Tyrion’s cell and reminisces about the first time they met, when Tyrion was an infant and Oberyn a little boy. Martell recalls how, even then, Cersei was unspeakably horrible to her baby brother and blamed him for killing her mother; he remembers being surprised that the “monster” everyone had talked about was merely a slightly misshapen human child. The story makes Tyrion cry, but his sadness is quickly replaced by grateful shock: Oberyn volunteers to fight as Tyrion’s champion, which will give him the opportunity to kill The Mountain – the man who raped and killed Elia Martell Targaryen. (Side note: Is anyone else as in love with Pedro Pascal’s slinky, sexy, snarky performance as I am?)
HOUSE STARK: EUTHANASIA-PATROL EDITION | The Hound and Arya come across a man dying very slowly from a painful gut wound. He says he’s been thinking about whether or not to just get it over with, but then he wonders whether what’s on the other side is worth hurrying to. “Nothing isn’t better or worse than anything. Nothing is just nothing,” responds Arya, who apparently has some Heidegger stashed away in her saddlebags.
The Hound gives the man a drink, then abruptly plunges his dagger into the man’s heart – an action which earns him a grateful look from the casualty, who then dies. “That’s where the heart is,” The Hound informs a surprised Arya, and as odd as it sounds, it’s actually a touching little teaching interaction and OH MY GOD WHO IS THAT GUY SUDDENLY ON THE HOUND’S BACK?!
The attacker bites The Hound, who eventually shakes him off; his buddy, whom Arya recognizes as one of the nasty prisoners Yoren was transporting back when she was traveling with them, notes the bounty on The Hound’s head. He also informs them that Joffrey is dead – I love the look that passes between Arya and her captor there – before The Hound asks whether the new arrival is on Arya’s “little list.”
She says no… but only because she doesn’t know his name. So when he offers it, she rams Needle through his chest. “You’re learning,” The Hound comments. Later that night, Arya suggests cauterizing the flesh around the bite so it won’t fester. “No fire!” the big man cries, confessing that she was right: The scarring on his face is the result of when Gregor held his head to some hot coals as a child. “The worst thing that it was my brother who did it,” he says, eventually allowing Arya to at least help him clean and stitch the wound.
HOUSE BARATHEON | Stannis’ wife interrupts Melisandre while she’s in the bathtub, complaining that the Lord of Dragonstone wants to bring Shireen with them on their trip. Melisandre, who’s very naked for most of this scene (even by GoT standards), says that the couple’s daughter must accompany them. “The Lord needs her.” There’s a lot more talk about potions and lies and truth and flames, but you get the gist.
HOUSE TARGARYEN: BOW-CHICKA-WOW-WOW EDITION | Daenerys seems irked to find that Daario snuck into her room through a window. (Crack security there, khaleesi.) He says he has but two talents: war and women — and with the relative peace in Meereen and Dany’s repeated rebuffing of his romantic overtures, he’s bored. “Send me to kill your enemies, any enemies, anywhere,” he begs. She’s got a different idea: “Take off your clothes.” Welp, you’re the queen! As Daario disrobes, the look on Daenerys’ face says Dragon Mama likey.
The next morning, Jorah encounters Daario during the latter’s walk of shame from Dany’s quarters. The older man disapproves of their tryst… but not as much as he disapproves of Daenerys’ plan to send Daario to kill the newly reestablished masters in Yunkai. He cautions her against viewing her opponents as solely evil; after all, “I wouldn’t be here to help you if Ned Stark had done to me what you want to do for the masters of Yunkai.” She considers, changes her mind, then sends Jorah to have an ambassador – the man who pleaded for burial of his father’s remains in the previous episode – accompany Daario and his men for a less bloodthirsty mission to the conquered city. Well, the other one. No, the other other one. Her message: The masters “can live in my new world, or they can die in their old one.”
HOUSE STARK: FALLING-FOR-YOU EDITION | Too bad Pod and Brienne — whom we see on the road to the Eyrie — won’t get to Lysa’s castle anytime soon, because Sansa needs. help. now. First off, Petyr (again) tells Sansa that he loved her mother and that in another world, she’d be his daughter – but in this one, he’s going to put his ferrety little mouth on hers and kiss her. Ick. Neither of them realize that Lysa sees the whole thing, though it becomes very apparent when she accuses her niece of being a whore and forces her head out the castle’s moon door. (Given what must flash before Sansa’s eyes – fighting with Arya, dad’s beheading, lemon cakes, gay knight, Joffrey, forced wedding – I can’t say I’d blame her if she swan dove outta that thing.)
Baelish interrupts their screaming, crying fight, promising his hysterical wife that he’ll have the redhead sent away if she’ll only let her go. Lysa succumbs to his purring pleas, and he pulls her close to tell her, “I have only loved one woman, only one, my entire life… your sister.” Then, with a swift brutality while Sansa watches, he pitches her aunt out the moon door like yesterday’s lamprey pie.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Were you happy to see Hot Pie again? Irate that Alliser Thorne won’t heed Jon’s warnings about Mance Rayder’s army? Sound off in the comments!Follow @kimroots